After years of trying to work in crawlspaces and attics like a tunnel rat, clutching one of those old army surplus right angle flashlights, I finally broke down and discovered the beauty of the headlamp. Yes, I have caught some crap from plumbers who thought that it “looks dorky”, but when we get into the basement, they become instant converts. With LED technology onboard these little babies are bright, lightweight and last a long time on a set of batteries. My only complaint in the past has been that they just aren’t quite as robust or adjustable as I would like. Cue the Coast FL60, which Coast recently sent to us to review.
This headlamp is a real step up from my old Eddie Bauer model. First off, it throws a nice, WIDE beam. My current headlamp always makes me feel a little bit like I’m in a tunnel, and I have to swivel my head around a lot to make sure I’m not going to trip on something below the beam, or crack my head on a pipe above the beam. The FL60 lights up the entire area in front of you. In addition, it swivels down, so you can really put the light right where you are working or walking. This is especially nice when you wear bifocals like I do (yes, I’m an old guy) and you don’t have to monkey around trying to get the lamp to sit just right on your head. It clicks into three down positions, and it really allows you to put the light where you need it.
Other notable improvements include: The FL60 is hard hat friendly. It stretches from my head size (granted, I have a gigantic coconut) to my fit on my hard hat with NO ADJUSTMENT! The elastic band is super-stretchy and doesn’t feel like it will start to lose its stretch in 2 or 3 months like my old model. Plus, the FL60 has some nifty hard hat clips to keep it secure, regardless of the hard hat you use.
Maybe my favorite upgrade is moving the power pack from the back of the headband right into the light on the front. The rear power pack is another feature that I don’t care for on my old head lamp. No matter how tight you crank it, that battery pack in the back just wants to slip down! The FL60 stays right where you put it. The specs on this light are also impressive.
Coast FL60 Headlam Spec’s
- Lumens:300 (High), 175 (Med), 39 (Low)
- Beam Distance:29 meters/95 ft.(High), 22 meters/72 ft.(Med),10 meters/32.8 ft.(Low)
- Run Time:2 hours 45 min (High), 3 hours 30 min (Med), 22 hours (Low)
22 hrs at 10 meters?!? Holy cow, that is awesome battery life!
I have to give Coast credit, they have moved into the flashlight market in a big and innovative way. Not too long ago, I reviewed the combo knife and flashlight, which I think is a fantastic backpacking or emergency tool. However, despite the fact that Coast is primarily marketing to the camping and outdoors crowd, I feel like they are making solid inroads into the tradesman market as well. I am more than happy to put the FL60 right in my toolbox for everyday use.